The Tamil Nadu Milk Producers' Association has welcomed the hike in procurement price of milk from Rs.18 to Rs.20 a litre announced by the State government, terming it a “very big boost” for the farming community.

Its president K.A. Sengottuvelu told The Hindu that though it would be applicable only to those supplying milk to the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers' Federation (Aavin), “this is going to reflect on the price given by the private dairies as well”. According to him, 1.5 crore litres of milk is produced in the State, of which 50 lakh litres goes for personal use. While Aavin procures, on an average, 24 lakh litres, private dairies procure at least 30 lakh litres. “Thus about 50 lakh farmers are likely to benefit because of the hike announced.”

Mr. Sengottuvelu sought to correct the perception of the public that the government had chosen to raise the selling price of milk by Rs.6.25 a litre, while it had hiked the procurement price only by Rs.2. “Actually, the State government raised the procurement price by Rs.2.50 as early as February itself but has not passed it on to the consumers. That hike was subsidised by the government to the tune of Rs.17 crore a month since then. Hence, as against the total hike of Rs.4.50 a litre in procurement price, the selling price has been raised by Rs.6.25.” Even after this hike, the price of Aavin continues to be lower than the retail price quoted by various private dairies, he said.